Cobham Explores Augmented Reality for Maritime Satcom
Cobham Satcom is working with custom software house Kanda and Osterhout Design Group (ODG) to build an Augmented Reality (AR) wearable solution for maritime service technicians. With AR already established as an efficiency-enhancing tool for business and industrial applications, the project is a proof of concept that will show the potential for augmented reality to support professionals installing and servicing equipment on ships.
By enabling AR within its product offerings, Cobham is exploring how the digital and physical world can be blended together to create even better user experiences. In addition to the augmented reality smart glasses project, Cobham also released a 3D catalogue app in September, which enables its products to be viewed in AR on Apple and Android devices.
The AR smart glasses team is working with ODG’s R-7 smart glasses to develop a solution for installation technicians in the field who are tasked with in-situ conversions of Sailor Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) antennas from Ku- to Ka-band, using field conversion kits. According to Cobham, the smart glasses provide step-by-step guidance to their wearer during conversion installations, making paper manuals obsolete and speeding up and simplifying the process.
According to Cobham, the augmented reality smart glasses solution can reduce costs for vessels and fleets when they are switching to a different satcom service but keeping the same antenna on board. The technician wearing the glasses will receive all the information required in their line of sight, ensuring that strict quality and technical guidelines are followed. By ensuring the antennas are installed correctly during the conversion process, the satellite service provider and the end-user can be certain that the antenna will reliably connect to the satellites to provide broadband and voice services.